Earlier this week, an app called FlexBright had an update approved by the iOS App Store, which effectively let an app that adjusts the display’s temperature into the digital storefront.
FlexBright’s acceptance was notable mainly because in the past, Apple had blocked a particularly popular app that did the same thing, function wise. Not to many people’s surprise, the removal of that particular app, what’s known as f.lux, was a move by Apple because it had plans to release its own temperature adjustment tool, called Night Shift mode, in an upcoming iOS release (iOS 9.3).
So, FlexBright getting approved with a feature set similar to Night Shift, was a bit strange.
Apple has apparently figured it all out, though, and it’s been confirmed that FlexBright has been removed from the iOS App Store. According to a report published by MacRumors, the developer behind the app, Sam Al-Jamal, actually worked with Apple through a variety of different app versions to get updates accepted by the reviews team. One hold-up was due to checking for any private APIs that might have been in use, which apparently isn’t the case. The report states that, according to Al-Jamal, Apple has no plans to accept apps that change the display’s screen colors.
“I recreated three classes based on non-public APIs. Even though these are custom classes that I created, but essentially they’re using the same methods as in their non-public APIs.”
Another reason why, technically, FlexBright was pulled was due to the app using silent audio to run in the background — a decision that is typically not well received, and can bring down overall battery life as well. To hide this fact, FlexBright actually implemented a music player to “Justify the background music activity.”
“We labeled it as a new feature to “rest/close your eyes for few minutes and listen to some music”. Now Apple says this is not the intended purpose of the app and they won’t allow this approach.”
As it stands right now, the app is still accessible on a user’s device that already has it installed, and, most importantly, the ability to alter the blue light on the display through the app is still available as well. Apple asked Al-Jamal to remove it, but he refused so users could keep it.
Did anyone not see this coming?
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